Asserting APCO’s Leadership Role in Public Safety Communications

The Government Relations Office (GRO) establishes and maintains relationships with Congress, federal agencies, the Administration, industry leaders, and national public safety and governmental organizations to advocate for the policies, regulations, and legislation of most importance to APCO members.

Ask your U.S. Representatives to Co-Sponsor the 9-1-1 SAVES Act

APCO is launching a grassroots advocacy campaign and needs your support.

For several years, APCO has sought to correct the federal classification of 9-1-1 professionals by reclassifying them as Protective Service Occupations as opposed to Office and Administrative Support Occupations. Now, momentum is building in the House for a simple legislative fix with the reintroduction of the 9-1-1 SAVES Act (H.R. 6319). APCO is seeking the assistance of its members and others. We’re asking you to TAKE ACTION – Ask your U.S. Representatives to co-sponsor the 9-1-1 SAVES Act.

TAKE ACTION and use APCO’s advocacy portal to send a letter asking for support to get this bill through the House, and please share the link widely with colleagues.

Read APCO’s press release about the reintroduction of the 9-1-1 Saves Act.

Improving Emergency Communications Resiliency

May 16, 2022 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET –
Free for members and non-members
No CDEs offered for this webinar.

During disasters and other outages impacting the ability of the public to reach 9‑1‑1, network resiliency is key to public safety. Join us to hear about the role of the FCC in ensuring network resiliency and perspectives from state and local 9‑1‑1 leaders.

NG9-1-1 Presentation

This slide deck contains talking points on why federal funding is needed for Next Generation 9-1-1. We’re making it available for public safety communications professionals to use as a resource in their advocacy efforts.

News from APCO's Government Relations Office

Keep up to date with the GRO team by following the TabletopX blog, written by APCO’s Government Relations team.



FCC Adopts Rules to Improve Wireless 9-1-1 Routing

On January 25, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules to require wireless carriers to implement location-based routing, which entails routing 9-1-1 calls based on the location of the caller instead of the cell tower transmitting the call.

January 25, 2024

APCO Offers Public Safety Perspective on National Spectrum Policies

On January 2, APCO submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) regarding implementation of the National Spectrum Strategy, which was developed to ensure federal spectrum policy advances U.S. innovation, economic vitality, and security.

January 4, 2024

APCO Welcomes Senate Bill, Highlights Efforts to Fix the Federal Reclassification of 9-1-1 Professionals

At the end of 2023 APCO welcomed a new Senate bill – the Enhancing First Response Act (S. 3556) – that would fix the federal classification of 9-1-1 professionals, improve the information shared during 9-1-1 outages, and examine the enhancements being made for 9-1-1 calls made from multi-line telephone systems.

January 4, 2024

Russian FSB Cyber Actor Star Blizzard Continues Worldwide Spear-Phishing Campaign

Several worldwide cybersecurity agencies have collaborated on an Advisory to raise awareness of Star Blizzard’s spear-phishing techniques that target individuals and organizations.

December 7, 2023



APCO is a recognized and well-respected leader when it comes to legislative and regulatory efforts directed at improving 9-1-1 services.

9-1-1 Location Accuracy

APCO has advocated for sensible improvements aimed at ensuring that ECCs receive actionable location information.

4.9 GHz

APCO joined with eleven other public safety associations on a press release strongly criticizing the change that would cause problems for emergency communications.

6 GHz

APCO advocates that sharing the 6GHz band with large numbers of unlicensed devices should only occur if appropriate measures are in place to prevent, identify and eliminate interference to public safety’s systems.


APCO played a key role in leading an extensive and successful lobbying effort to secure passage of the legislation creating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

IP Transition

APCO efforts promote the transition of the nation’s communications networks to IP-based technologies, while ensuring preservation of certain important values including public safety.

Mobile Apps

In the rapidly-developing field of mobile apps designed for public safety and emergency response, APCO seeks to to ensure these tools are as safe and effective as possible.

SOC Revision

APCO continues its work to classify public safety telecommunicators as a “protective” occupation, given the stress, training, and life-saving nature of their tasks.

Meet the Government Relations Team

Jeffrey Cohen is Chief Counsel and Director of Government Relations at APCO International. In this capacity, Jeff provides strategic guidance on policy, legislative, and regulatory matters to advance the association’s work on public safety and emergency communications. Prior to joining APCO, Jeff served as a detailee from the Federal Communications Commission to the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. While on the Hill, Jeff was one of the authors of the FirstNet public safety legislation enacted in February 2012. At the FCC, Jeff was Senior Legal Counsel to the Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. Before his move to the federal government, Jeff was a partner at the Washington, DC telecommunications law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, where he worked over ten years on wireless regulatory matters since graduating from the George Washington University Law School with honors in 1994. Jeff also holds a B.S. cum laude in electrical engineering from the George Washington University. Jeff is a recipient of the FCC’s Silver Medal Award, APCO’s Leadership in Regulatory Service Award, and the National Emergency Number Association’s Presidential Award. Contact Jeff at cohenj at

Mark Reddish joined APCO in 2012 and serves as Senior Counsel and Manager of Government Relations. In this role, he analyzes regulatory and legislative issues related to public safety communications and serves as a staff liaison for APCO committees. In addition to this experience, he has more than ten years of active service as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in the DC metro area. Mark earned a B.A. in psychology, summa cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law where he served as an editor on the Jessup International Moot Court board. Contact Mark at reddishm at

Alison Venable is Government Relations Counsel at APCO International. Alison graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law with certifications in Cybersecurity and Crisis Management as well as Environmental Law. During law school, Alison worked as a research assistant for the Center for Health and Homeland Security and as an intern in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. In her final year of law school, Alison served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and received the William P. Cunningham Award for exceptional achievements and service to the school. Prior to law school, Alison volunteered as a Disaster Survivor Assistance Specialist with FEMA Corps, a subset of AmeriCorps, where she aided in obtaining government assistance for victims of flooding in Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. Alison graduated from American University in 2015 with a B.A. in International Studies and a certificate in Indian Studies from Manipal University in Manipal, India.